KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, 1 May 2006 — Police in Afghanistan yesterday found the headless body of an Indian engineer kidnapped two days ago by Taleban militants, a killing that earned swift condemnation from New Delhi.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai called it a “brutal” act and said that the Afghan and Indian nations know who were behind it.
“The death of the Indian engineer who was working for the construction and reconstruction of Afghanistan without a doubt is the work of enemies of Afghanistan,” Karzai said during a ceremony at his palace.
A Taleban spokesman, Yousuf Ahmadi, claimed responsibility for the killing of K. Suryanarayana, a contractor for Afghan mobile telephone network Roshan, but said his death was unintentional, while officials said it was no accident.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh condemned what he called the “inhuman” slaying of Suryanarayana, who hailed from the southern Indian city of Hyderabad and was a father of three. Karzai also offered his condolences to the government and people of India. “The Afghan nation honors all those foreigners who help Afghan nation, and the Afghan people become deeply saddened by such killings,” Karzai said.
The body of Suryanarayana, who was abducted Friday in the restive Zabul province, was found in the province’s Shahjoy district, local police chief Mohammed Mir told AFP.
“This morning, a driver from an area called Karez-e-Hassan, where the Indian engineer was kidnapped, came to us and informed us of a dead body,” Mir said. “We went to the area and found the body of the Indian engineer beheaded in a bag. We took the body,” he added.
An Afghan Interior Ministry official accused the Taleban of murder, contradicting the militia spokesman’s claims that Suryanarayana had been killed while trying to escape.